Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Vita Week: Racing Games

Racing games don't really need an introduction, right? You...Race things. Generally for the purpose to unlock other things to race and other places to race around. They're also things that I've always played here and there, trying to

Need for Speed: Most Wanted

The last Need for Speed game I played was Hot Pursuit that came out a few years back, which featured both your usual racer career alongside a career mode featuring the cops that generally try to stop racers from having any fun. I thought it was pretty good and the two sides were different enough but both were still fun.

Most Wanted on the other hand ditches the cops side of the story to focus solely on the racers again. You're let loose in a large open city and a bit of the surrounding country side, which is filled with collectables, races, and cars.

First off the game, for the most part looks good. At higher speeds it can chug a bit, but beyond that Most Wanted stays fairly consistent. Headlights at night though have a very odd problem where they pop in and out at times and if you're looking at them from the front you can literally count the pixels.

The newest thing I could see was that instead of unlocking cars as you go, they are simply all spread out across town, and you simply drive up to one, hit a button and off you go in this new car. Each car has its own races to it, and doing well in them will unlock different parts for that car. Everything handles well enough to boot.

Another aspect of the game that Criterion has been trying to improve over the past few entires is the Speedwall. Essentially whenever you finish a race, run by a speed camera(one of the game's collectables), or burst through a billboard, you'll be shown how well your friends did, which is mainly meant to envoke the spirit of competition. As someone who's friends don't touch racing games...Well it did nothing for me.

All in all a good game, and a fully fledged Need for Speed game on the go.

WipEout 2048

Onto Sony's own futuristic racing game, WipEout 2048 is more contained than Most Wanted. There's no open world, and the tracks are all set, but I'd say this lets it feel more focused.

You'll progress through a linear set of races with a few side races meant to challenge, and unlock more...Speeders...? They aren't cars, but more...Hover...Things. It's the future, things aren't moving solely on the ground, that's the best way I can think of to describe it.

The game has a bit of a Mario Kart feel to it, too. You'll roll over pads and be given a weapon, but unlike Mario Kart, said weapon can be used on yourself to power up your shield for a short bit, or repair your ship as a whole giving it a bit more of a strategic feel.

It's very similar to Wipeout HD for the PS3, so if you've played that you'll know what to expect. Beyond that there's really not much to say about the game. The better you do in races the more vehicles you'll unlock, divided up by teams and types, of varying stats. You'll also unlock more races. There's three campaigns to play through and they all appear to be a decent length on their own so I'd take the chance to say you'll probably get a lot of time out of this one if you find you enjoy it.

Spy Hunter

The last one I'm taking a look at here isn't really a racing game per se, but it still has you driving a car down a long closed in stretch of highway while being timed so I'm letting it slide.

Spy Hunter puts you in the seat of the Interceptor, a prototype vehicle that's essentially James Bond's car if Q felt the need to erradicate every other vehicle on the road. The Square, Triangle, Circle, and X buttons all control different weapons on the car that you'll use to kill all who oppose you, until you finish your mission and get back to the trailer that's meant to carry your car. Then you'll head back to base, where you can use whatever points you've earned to upgrade your weapons/paint your car.

There isn't too much story beyond another group wanting to acquire your vehicle, deciding to try to kill you when they see that isn't going to happen. The entire thing is done with its tongue firmly in its cheek though, which adds a bit of humor to it.

All in all the game is fun if a bit samey at times. You'll earn weapons to switch out with your main arsenal, but it'll always just boil down to trying to run everyone near you off the road or shoot them up. Which is oddly satisfying.

I've played it sparringly so I'm not sure how much time you'll get out of it, or even if it stays true to the series it's rebooting, but I've enjoyed myself when I decided to play through a few levels here and there.

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